Stone upon stone, select city first then country, and initiate the dialogue: so what that other thing, all those other things? Who can you help besides her? Maybe you’d also like Werkplaats, just wait for the next round of goodbyes: so long to the quiet hunchback, to the one old man in the old town wearing a flat cap and looking sharp, to the earnest staring grocer who asked if you regret staying here.
She replies, yeah, no, it’s time to move on, yet again just not to his birth country, destined to miss the sugared rain, wide open bloodlet roads, cut-grass BBQ smiles, and pickup truck helping hands. Can’t you see how he’s blown about by history, as if cycling home after work in the rain by the river is a journey pulled from the sixth paragraph of “The Expelled”?
They are asking you to revivify the gene of a past sealed away in the surface of the image itself, as if the Internet has never existed, as if nature is not the only consistent joy at the edges of this great national experiment. That push-and-pull encouraging you to photograph your plate of quinoa, boysenberry seeds, and caramelized rhubarb from above: set it to a tune composed of pricey mandolins and ukuleles, yuk it up, dowse it with whistling and “hey! ho!”
They claim to have enjoyed great success with diamond-tipped hi-hats, triggers triggering junk bond fluctuations, and the healing part of platinum pain: our prices stay the same long after the quality is forgotten! But it won’t be your health paying the price: just confirm your credit card details and that you are not a robot, and we’re good to go!
Let the loser melt, or he who travels fastest goes alone, or any other platitude birthed from the recesses of a flea market full of Midwestern Republicans vying for you ear: maybe no. But he retains a faint image of them arguing, listen, why exactly do you want to leave? What’s wrong? Not all the mountains will crumble, you can return to some someday, just choose: range then country.
Now they message every once in a while, just wait for last year, it takes little effort to be a stranger, and feeling foreign is no more a lonely habit than carrying chocolate with you everywhere. But each night this week you dreamed of playing a zither gifted to you by a faceless concern who quietly mandated, you must leave this country.
So you map out how to teach her to theorize the foreign after asking her to drop everything and join you: to become another human being a human being. You begin, come on, we are not going that far west, and as of yet we’ve had no real taste in rivers, we can develop it all: we shall sit there holding hands on the shore wondering, will there ever be no memory? We will thank the people we adore, even the polite society ghosts and other functionalities, semi-nomadic palm wine collectors, and extra-continentals with their new objectivity and scarcity mindset.
Maybe they do, maybe they don’t realize you sometimes wish it had never happened, that you had never left, that it didn’t still happen, that you didn’t want to leave, that you didn’t have to leave: 23rd NW, Hidden Acres, Avenida Washington Luis, Minato Takanawa, Chelmsford NW, South Atlantic, Stratford, Mazowiecka.
But the next morn, your shoulder is slammed by an aging hooligan clothed in all beige, consumer waste crossed out all over his face. So you reserve an apartment on a brick street to the north of the station: there’s a tattoo shop next door, perhaps there you can finally get PAMIĘTAJ and ZAPOMNIJ engraved across your wrists.